If you’re enamoured by the colours and vibrancy of bigger cities like Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan; you’d be surprised to know that smaller ones like Bikaner too have something to offer to every kind of traveller. With its ancient opulence still at display through beautiful forts and various temples and cenotaphs, this place is replete with history, culture and beauty. People walking on the roads wearing colourful clothes, the smell of freshly fried kachoris wafting through the air and a general calm pervading the air – that’s Bikaner for you.Also Read - Other Than Vicky Kaushal And Katrina Kaif's Wedding Venue, 5 Places to Visit in Sawai Madhopur
You can also plan a day trip to the National Research Centre on Camels, only 8 kms from central Bikaner and also enjoy a bustling camel safari scene in the dust-swirling city in That desert. But these are the top things you must not miss at any cost when in Bikaner: Also Read - Amid Katrina Kaif-Vicky Kaushal’s Wedding, Harleen Sethi Is 'Looking For Meaning Of Life'
Junagarh Also Read - 9 Omicron Variant Patients In Jaipur Asymptomatic | Key Points
Junagarh stands tall and proud for it is probably the only fort that remains untouched by foreign invaders. Built in the 16th century, this gorgeous red sandstone and marble fort showcases the magnificence of the Rajput way of life. The rich details on architecture and carvings, and the courtyards, balconies and windows are jaw-droppingly beautiful. The fort’s sheer size and the royal weapons and clothes at display will make you marvel at the luxury of the bygone era.
Karni Mata Temple
Famously known as the temple of rats, this place is easily India’s weirdest attractions. About 30 km from the city, this 14th century temple is where devotees worship the divine and the animal together. The temple houses an idol of Karni Mata, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, along with a huge number of rodents. The kabas (rats) not only roam freely within the temple precincts but also enjoy a sacred status. It is also believed that spotting a white rat here is very lucky.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
Around 30 km from Bikaner, this blissful quiet getaway comes as a surprise. The palace was founded by Maharaja Gaj Singh of Bikaner in the 18th century on the banks of the Gajner Lake, and then later completed by Maharaja Ganga Singh. It is now been converted into a hotel property that houses Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary – once a famous hunting ground of the royals. You’ll spot everything from nilgai, chinkara, imperial sand grouse to black buck and wild boar among many migratory birds.
The old city has labyrinthine narrow lanes and by-lanes that’s packed with motorbikes and auto-rickshaws, concealing a number of fine havelis, and a couple of notable Jain temples, and a number of shops selling a variety of things. The old city is encircled by a 7 km-long, 18th-century wall with five entrance gates; the main entrance being the triple-arched Kothe Gate.
This Jain temple with its yellow-stone carving and vibrant paintings is a particularly beautiful temple. The interiors here are stunning; the pillars bear floral designs and depict the lives of the 24 tirthankars (great Jain teachers). It’s said that 40,000 kg of ghee was used instead of water in the mortar used during the construction, which even today seeps through the floor on hot days.